AGN Live Country Guides

Doing Business in United Kingdom

Published in July 2017

England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain) together with Northern Ireland comprise the United Kingdom (UK).

The UK's economy is the fifth largest economy in the world and the second largest in the European Union (EU). The country is a globally important influencer, being one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, a founding member of NATO and of the Commonwealth, and a member of the G7 and G20 economic forums. The country pursues a global approach to foreign policy. The UK held a referendum on its continued membership of the EU in June 2106, following which on 29 March 2017 it notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw.

The UK had an estimated 65.11 million people in 2016, with $2.79 trillion GDP (2016) and growth of 1.8%. The inflation rate is currently around 2.7% and nominal GDP per capita is $43,902 (2016 est.). The currency is the Great Britain Pound, GBP.

In 2015 the United Kingdom was the 9th largest export economy in the world and the 11th most complex economy according to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI). The top UK exports in 2015 were gold, cars, packaged medicines, gas turbines and refined petroleum.

The UK is the largest market in the world for U.S. service exports. Major categories of US exports to the UK are aerospace products, agricultural products, biomass, cyber security, medical equipment, new build civil nuclear, certain consumer goods such as pet products, smart grids, sustainable construction, travel and tourism. The proposed US-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has the potential to cut tariffs and address market barriers, thus creating additional opportunities for US-UK trade.

This portal incorporates live data feeds from:

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
The World Bank
The observatory of Economic Complexity

The intention is to provide access to live information extracted from the regularly refreshed databases maintained by these organisations.




Use the navigation buttons below to access to more live data:
Inflation, Development indicators, Exports, Trade Balance, and more.

OECD Country Comparison Portal

The window below is a direct feed of regularly updated information from the OECD. It provides data concerning everything from GDP growth, fiscal balance, investment, and unemployment rates to consumption, import volume and export volume. The window allows comparisons between UK and other countries of the OECD average for these factors.

Inflation (CPI)

Total, Annual growth rate (%)

World Bank Development Indicators


This graph is taken from The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC). Products, represented by rectangles, are drawn from the 775 individual product classes found in the Standardized International Trade Code.

This graph shows volumes of goods exported from UK.


This graph is taken from The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC). Products, represented by rectangles, are drawn from the 775 individual product classes found in the Standardized International Trade Code.

This graph shows volumes of goods imported into UK.

Trade Balance

This graph is taken from The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC).

This graph illustrates the subsequent trade balance of exports and imports to and from UK.


This graph is taken from The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC).

This graph shows the destinations of goods and services by country.


Business Opportunities in the UK:


Emmanuel Macron took office as the President of France on 14 May 2017, becoming the youngest president in French history and youngest head of state since Napoleon. His victory was based on a manifesto of significant social and economic reform. As his program has started to take effect, Macron has been hailed as having re-launched the French economy as an attractive destination for foreign direct investment – the so called “Macron Effect”.

find the firm best prepared to serve you


Foreign Currency Loans became very popular a few years ago. Depending on the currency they potentially offered consumers and companies low interest rates, at attractive exchange rates. But recent experience has shown they can become a problem where they have been sold to consumers and small firms that may not be familiar with the potential pitfalls of such sudden changes in exchange rates. Many legacy loans are still active and still causing problems.

There are professional ways to hand foreign currency loans through Managed Currency Mortgages. A successful currency manager will move the borrower's debt into a currency which subsequently falls in value against the base currency.

For more information about how to hand foreign currency loans through Managed Currency Mortgages, contact an AGN member that can help you.


The Knowledge Development Box in Ireland – 6.25% Corporate Tax Rate.    

The Knowledge Development Box (KDB) in Ireland provides for a 6.25% tax rate on profits derived from patented or other protected inventions and certain copyright software.

For more information about how to take advantage of this opportunity, contact the AGN firm best prepared to help you.

Tax Publications

The AGN European Region produces annual tax brochures that compare taxes among European countries. Interesting comparisons from year to year give insight into trends.

These surveys are available by report type and year.

Learn more

The AGN Europe Taxation Task Force produces annual Tax Brochures. These contain tables that show the main aspects of a tax that are easily and quickly compared between the European Countries participating in the surveys. There is also a graph comparing the most important data, and an article with an overview of the European situation. These brochures are available in electronic format and have been designed so you can easily print them in-house if you prefer. Members and clients refer to the brochures as useful overview of key Tax data in Europe.

Corporate Tax 2017

European Countries Comparison

The 2017 corporate tax survey covers most European countries (including Turkey) and aims to calculate the effective corporate tax payable using a model profit and loss account for a standard trading company with pre-tax accounting profit of € 930,000.00. It also calculates the dividend receivable by shareholders of a company resident in a non-treaty (tax haven) country. Additionally the percentage of accounting profit received as dividend is shown under different assumptions.

read full publication
Gift & Inheritance 2017

European Countries Comparison

Inheritance and Gift taxes are often overlooked when deciding which jurisdiction to relocate to, so those individuals who do not want a considerable part of their savings to be left to the State must consider the impact of these taxes and any related tax planning opportunities that may arise.
The objective of the survey was to compare levels of inheritance tax payable based on a married individual who died without a valid Will on January 1, 2017, leaving a surviving spouse and two children. The assets owned at death were: a house worth €600.000, cash of €1.000.000, quoted company shares valued at €300.000 and unquoted company shares valued at €700.000 (total asset value €2.600.000).

read full publication
Parent Companies 2017

European Countries Comparison

Parent companies are used to hold participation in group companies, to collect dividends and make capital gains from the sale of subsidiaries in the most tax efficient way. The objective of the survey of parent company jurisdictions is to compare and contrast the conditions for the exemption of dividends and capital gains and to try to identify the most useful and flexible jurisdiction to place the parent company. The tax calculations are based on a standard profit and loss account and balance sheet with subsidiaries in France, Germany, USA and Switzerland.

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Salaries & Social Security Tax 2017

European Countries Comparison

The objective of the survey is to establish how much of an employee’s gross salary is left after income tax and social security charges. It also calculates the employer’s social charges allowing comparison of the cost of employment to an employer. The survey is based on a married individual with two children, annual gross salary of €100,000, a company car costing €40,000 when new, and paying annual mortgage interest of €7,500.
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Self Employed Tax 2017

European Countries Comparison

The objective of the self employed survey is to establish how much of a self employed person’s gross salary is left after income tax and social security charges. In addition, the survey considers what deductions the self employed person is allowed to make when calculating taxable profits. The survey is based on a married individual with two children, annual gross turnover of €130,000, a new car costing €40,000, a new computer costing €2,000, travel expenses of €10,000 and other business expenses of €8,000 leaving net turnover of €100,000.
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VAT 2017

European Countries Comparison

Not only is it a condition of membership of the EU for all member states to have VAT but also for its main characteristics to be uniformly implemented. This should make cross border trading easy but in practice does not as there are numerous local variations which can lead to costly errors, penalties and high compliance costs.

The objective of the AGN Europe VAT survey is to collate data about the main characteristics of VAT as it is implemented in the European Region jurisdictions and to try to highlight the key differences between them. It also acts as the basis for the VAT Survey Brochure, which is a useful reference source in respect of some of the main components of the VAT system.
read full publication
Online tax surveys are also created every year which contain some additional data to the brochures; if you want to see the latest version of these, please contact Marlijn Lawson or click here.

AGN News in Europe:

October 2018

AGN welcomes new member firm in Ukraine: ACTIV-AUDIT

Audit company "ACTIVE-AUDIT" was founded in 2000 in Kiev (Ukraine) and for more than 18 years has been providing various types of audit services, starting with the audit of financial statements of enterprises and banks, ending with the audit of the information security management system.

learn more
September 2018

AGN EMEA board welcomes new UK director

Martin Gibbs, Managing Partner of Coventry (UK) based member firm Dafferns LLP has been co-opted by the AGN EMEA regional Board.  

learn more

AGN Firms in the country

United Kingdom
Chiene + Tait LLP
61 Dublin Street
Edinburgh Scotland EH3 6NL
Time Zone: GMT
Phone: (+44) 13 1558 5800
Chiene + Tait LLP
3rd Floor
126 West Regent Street
Glasgow Scotland G2 2RQ
Time Zone:
Phone: (+44) 14 1222 5980
Contact Partner: Jeremy Chittleburgh
Chiene + Tait LLP
Clark Thomson House
Fairways Business Park
Inverness Scotland IV2 6AA
Time Zone:
Phone: (+44) 14 6322 7490
Chiene + Tait LLP
15 Old Bailey
London EC4M 7EF
Time Zone:
Phone: (+44) 20 3178 6825
Dafferns LLP
One Eastwood
Coventry CV3 2UB
Time Zone:
Phone: (+44 024) 7622 1046
Contact Partner: Andy Bewick
Hazlems Fenton
Palladium House
1-4 Argyll Street
London W1F 7LD
Time Zone: GMT
Phone: (+44 20)7437 76 66
Meaden & Moore, LLP
Lloyds Avenue House
6 lloyds Avenue
London EC3N 3AX
Time Zone: GMT
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7680 1131
Shipleys LLP
10 Orange Street
London WC2H 7DQ
Time Zone:
Phone: (+44 20) 7312 0000
SHIPLEYS LLP - Godalming
3 Godalming Business Centre
Woolsack Way
Godalming GU7 1XW
Time Zone:
Phone: (+44 1483) 423 607